Root Morphology and Anatomy of Field-Grown Erianthus arundinaceus


Erianthus species are perennial C4 grasses with such high biomass productivity and high tolerance to environmental stresses that they can be grown in marginal land to supply raw material for cellulosic bioethanol. Because high biomass production and strong tolerance to environmental stresses might be based on their large and deep-root system, we closely examined the morphology and anatomy of roots in first-year seedlings of field-grown Erianthus arundinaceus. The deep-root system of E. arundinaceus consists of many nodal roots growing with steep growth angles. Diameter of nodal roots with large variations (0.5 - 5 mm) correlates with the size and number of large xylem vessels. The microscopic observation shows that the nodal roots with dense root hairs developed soil sheath, hypodermis with lignified sclerenchyma in the outer cortex, and aerenchyma in the mid-cortex. In addition, starch grains were densely accumulated in the stele of nodal roots in winter. In the first year, E. arundinaceus developed less lateral roots than other reported grass species. The lateral roots formed a large xylem vessel in the center of the stele and no hypodermis in the outer cortex. Morphology and anatomy of E. arundinaceus root were discussed with reference to strong tolerance to environmental stresses.

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Shiotsu, F. , Abe, J. , Doi, T. , Gau, M. and Morita, S. (2015) Root Morphology and Anatomy of Field-Grown Erianthus arundinaceus. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 103-112. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.61012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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